2020 Best & Brightest: Jenna Scheffert, University of Wisconsin

Jenna Scheffert

University of Wisconsin School of Business

“Ambitious small-town girl with an inexorable appetite for adventure, seeking global residency status via the Big Apple.”

Fun fact about yourself: I am ambidextrous! I prefer to write on paper with my left hand and a whiteboard or chalkboard with my right hand.

Hometown: Northfield, Minnesota

High School: Northfield High School

Major: Finance, Investment, & Banking; Marketing

Minor: Leadership

Favorite Business Course: Definitely Cryptocurrencies with Brad Chandler. This class was so interesting and broke down exactly what cryptocurrencies are, how blockchain functions, and different applications and limitations of blockchain.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Direct Admit to the Business School (2016)
  • Accenture Case Competition (2017)
    • 1st Place Campus winner
  • Association of Big Ten Students (2017)
    • Appointed Representative of UW-Madison, flew to Washington D.C. to lobby on behalf of higher education
  • B-Line Business Magazine (2016-2017)
  • Fiamma Entrepreneurship Club
    • Co-founded Female Focused Entrepreneurship Club (2016-2017)
  • Student Retail Association
    • Undergraduate Business Council Representative (2017)
  • Women in Business
    • Appointed Organizational Analyst (2017)
    • Business Mentor (2018-2020)
  • Wisconsin Consulting Club
    • VP of Corporate Finance (2017)
  • Delta Sigma Pi Professional Fraternity
    • Pledge Class President (2018)
    • VP Finance (2019)
  • Investment Banking Club (2017-2020)
  • Duff&Phelps YOUniversity Deal Challenge (2019)
    • 2nd Place national winner

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Wisconsin School of Business (Madison, Wisconsin) Personal and Professional Foundations in Business Teaching Assistant
  • Accenture (Chicago, Illinois) Management Consulting Summer Analyst
  • Rothschild & Co. (New York City, New York) Investment Banking Summer Analyst
  • S. Department of State, U.S. Mission to the European Union (Brussels, Belgium) Public Affairs; Brussels Media Hub Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be returning to work as a full-time investment banking analyst in Rothchild & Co’s Global Advisory division in New York City.

What did you enjoy most about your business school? The Wisconsin School of Business fosters a place of comfort and a feeling of home while studying on a campus with 40,000 other students. Whether it’s faculty members, professors, or students, everyone supports the collaborative environment and strives to help each other by their own definition of success. Coming into college as one of 100 direct admit business students, I felt a personalized touch with my education right away. Professors knew me past my name, advisors supported my ambitious perspective, and upperclassman encouraged me to get involved. Each semester that passes, I’m welcomed back to friendly foundations and a supportive community that has grown and adapted at the same time as me.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The most important lesson that business has taught me is that anyone with a vision deserves for it to be heard. Business is fundamentally about the people and, frankly, everyone starts with a dissimilar platform for which their voice can be heard. I’ve learned success is not dependent on being the smartest or loudest person in the room; it’s based on perseverance and a strong belief system in your own worth. Globally, the business world is becoming more interconnected and it’s imperative to empower one another to use our own voice, but also open the door for people who may not look, sound, or act the same way we do.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Understand the importance of interpersonal skills and the value of good relationships. Business is about more than the technicalities in a textbook or the degree on a diploma, as the hard skills will only get you so far in the field. To be successful, it’s important to build connections with a myriad of people and utilize this invaluable network of individuals. What sets you apart in the business field is fostering the personal connections and ability to learn from those around you.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The business world is a global stage, and anyone has the ability to create a ripple of change. The world is so interconnected, and business helps foster cross-border relationships. I always viewed business as a one-dimensional field and you were either “in” business or not. However, I’m learned that it multidimensional and affects every facet of life. You can follow whatever passion you have while studying in the business field.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I’ve enjoyed my classes at college; however, I’ve always been a firm believer that the best education is taught outside the classroom. In order to appease my relentless appetite for an international mindset and gain a better understanding of the world, I’ve studied abroad three times in my college career. The first time I went abroad to Paris, France, where I thought I wanted to study Fashion Management. The following year, I studied in Hong Kong to gain a greater understanding of the financial field from Southeast Asia. Finally, my lifelong dream of working for a U.S. Embassy came true when I was selected as a fall intern during my final year of college. Each experience has been an invaluable asset to my educational experience and shaped who I am today.

Which classmate do you most admire? I’m in awe of my classmate, Charles “Charlie” Burton, who was one of the strongest, hardest working, and most charismatic people I’ve ever met. Charlie was heavily involved in the Delta Sigma Pi (DSP) fraternity and was a shining light for everyone in the club. Despite battling Ewing Sarcoma, a pediatric bone cancer, Charlie made an effort to be as present on campus as possible. He achieved academic success despite the intrusion of cancer treatments, and he didn’t let anyone treat him differently. He was able to double major and minor, studying Marketing and Spanish, all while staying actively involved in numerous philanthropic events and experiences that supported others with cancer. He created a new event for DSP that advocated and educated people about Ewing’s Sarcoma and ended up raising thousands of dollars for research. While internally he had an uphill battle, Charlie remained optimistic and passionate for the cause. Unfortunately, Charlie passed away on December 15, 2019, after an eight-year battle with cancer. However, Charlie will forever be one of the strongest and most admired people I know.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? Both my parents have been instrumental in my college success and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their relentless support and affirmation. They have always listened to my ambitious ideas and been adaptive to my go-getter personality. They have pushed me to remember my values in decision making and empowered me to spread my wings beyond my small hometown.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Run/start my own company someday
  2. Work internationally for a few years

What are your hobbies? I’m always itching to travel and explore new places. I’ve visited over 50 countries thus far and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.  Plus, I’m a huge foodie and my world is painted in color by food. I’m constantly on the search to taste, cook, bake or snap a photo of something yummy. If I’m not eating, I’m probably seeking out an adrenaline extreme sport. I’ll never pass up a zip-line course, scuba-dive, or bungee jump if I find one.

What made Jenna such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Jenna Scheffert is a passionate learner who truly understands how to maximize her opportunities within UW-Madison and beyond. As an undergraduate in the Wisconsin School of Business, she has consistently taken 17-19 credits each semester, enabling her to graduate as a double major (Finance, Investment & Banking, and Marketing) in only seven semesters. Aside from academics, her list of co-curricular involvements includes participation in our Entrepreneurial Residential Learning Community, winning 1st place in a leadership case competition on campus, winning 2nd place through a national finance case competition, being a student facilitator for our Personal & Professional Foundations in Business course, and starting a new entrepreneurship club on campus that serves as an advisory hub for idea generation and business development with a special focus on STEM majors and women immigrants. Jenna’s participation in both case competitions led to summer internships with Accenture and Rothschild & Co., where she will also begin her professional career with a full-time position this summer.  Yet, Jenna still had time to study abroad in Paris for the summer after her first year, and study abroad in Hong Kong the Spring semester of her sophomore year. Since she maximized on credits throughout her academic journey, Jenna was also able to skip the Fall semester of her senior year and take a prestigious and competitive position as a Public Affairs Intern with the United States and European Union Media Hub located in Brussels, Belgium.”

Julie Duffstein
Director of Student Life
University of Wisconsin

 

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